Jean Pierre RAMPAL

Family tree of Jean Pierre RAMPAL

Singer & Musician

FrenchBorn Jean Pierre RAMPAL

French flutist

Born on January 07, 1922 in Marseille, France , France

Died on May 20, 2000 in Paris, France

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Born in Marseille, the only child of Andrée (née Roggero) and flutist Joseph Rampal, Jean-Pierre Rampal became the first exponent of modern times to establish the solo flute on the international concert circuit and to attract the acclaim and large audiences comparable to those enjoyed by celebrity singers, pianists and violinists. This was not easily done in the immediate post-war years, as it was not usual for the solo flute to be featured widely in orchestral concerts. But Rampal's flair and presence (he was a big man to wield such a slim instrument so delicately) made the breakthrough and, as such, he personally paved the way for the next generation of flutist-superstars such as James Galway and, more recently, Emmanuel Pahud.

Rampal was a player in the classical French flute tradition (his father had been taught by Hennebains, who had also taught Rene le Roy and Marcel Moyse), although behind Rampal's superior technical facility lay the cavalier 'Latin' temperament of the Mediterranean south rather than the more formal character of the elite institutions of the Parisian north. His playing style was characterised especially by a bright sound, a sonorous elegance of phrasing lit up by a rich palette of subtle tone colours. He exuded a dashing, lightly-articulated virtuosity that thrilled audiences in his heyday, and he varied his natural vibrato sensitively to suit the intensity of the music he was playing. He also displayed a signature ability to snatch quick breaths in the middle of extended rapid passages without seeming to lose his grip on the persuasive sweep of his rendition. His sweet upper register and his wide dynamic range were particularly notable, and the lightness and crispness of his staccato articulation (his ‘détaché’), heard to great effect on his early recordings, was the envy of many.


He will be remembered principally for creating a popular fashion for the flute in the post-war years, for his recovery of a vast number of flute compositions from the Baroque era, and for spurring contemporary composers such as Poulenc to create new works that have become modern standards in the repertoire.

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Geographical origins

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